Communications & Media Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Unhappy Meals – Who Regulates Food Advertising for Kids?

Food labeling and advertising is a hot topic these days — from whether genetically modified ingredients should be disclosed to when and how companies can make the claims that their products are “all natural.” How companies...more

FTC Takes Its First Action Against Crowdfunding Site

As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) targets more FinTech (new and emerging financial technology) under the banner of protecting consumers from deceptive trade practices, the Commission finally turned its attention to the...more

FTC Bans Owners of Online Payday Lending Operations from Consumer Lending Industry

On July 7, the FTC entered into settlement agreements with two individuals and the entities they operate seeking to permanently restrict them from doing business in the consumer lending industry. According to the FTC’s...more

Should Feds Regulate Persistent Identifiers as Personal Information?

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission settled an action it had brought against Nomi Technologies, a provider of “in-store analytics” technology. The fact that the action was brought against Nomi to begin with, considering...more

Who’s Watching Dietary Supplement Advertising?  Everybody!

For several years now, dietary supplement advertising has been squarely on the radar of the FTC, state regulators, self-regulators, and last but never least, plaintiff’s lawyers. A recent FTC settlement with the makers of the...more

Advertising Law - July 2015 #2

EPIC Drives Uber Complaint to FTC - Uber’s recent legal woes continue. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) challenged the ride-sharing company’s new privacy policy and requested that the Federal Trade...more

Software Comparison Site Feels the Crunch of the UK Regulator

A UK website offering reviews of accounting software that was operated by TheAccountancyPartnership.com Ltd t/a Pandle (“Pandle”) was recently challenged by Crunch Accounting Ltd (“Crunch”) on purported misleading advertising...more

Mobile App Developer Settles with FTC and New Jersey AG Over Virtual Currency Mining

On June 29, a mobile app developer entered into an agreement with the FTC and the New Jersey AG to settle allegations that the developer engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by marketing its rewards app, called “Prized,”...more

FTC Resolves Claims Against Auto Dealers Based on Alleged Deceptive Advertising

On June 29, the FTC filed two administrative complaints and issued proposed orders against two Las Vegas auto dealers to resolve allegations that they engaged in misleading advertising practices that misrepresented the...more

FTC, Florida AG File Action to Stop Alleged Telemarketing Debt Relief Scam Targeting Seniors

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Florida Attorney General (AG) have jointly filed a complaint in a Florida federal court against several companies and their individual owners alleging that the defendants engaged in...more

“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”* — Doctors, Vets, and Lawyers in the Antitrust Crosshairs

Supreme Court Decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission Prompts Legal Challenges to State Professional Boards - Earlier this month a Texas federal district court judge granted a...more

Truth in Advertising - An Overview of Recent Contraventions of the Misleading and Deceptive Conduct Provisions of the Australian...

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to focus on misleading and deceptive advertising and communication strategies adopted by businesses selling products and services as an enforcement priority....more

FTC Shuts Down a Risky Risk-Free Offer

This morning, the FTC announced that it had stopped a group of 15 companies and 7 individuals from using deceptive “risk-free trial” offers to sell skincare products online. At the Commission’s request, a federal court issued...more

Facial Recognition Technology: Social Media and Beyond, an Emerging Concern

This week, a major self-regulatory initiative intended to address privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology hit a significant stumbling block. Nine consumer advocacy groups withdrew from the National...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Advertising

“We have the best mobile app on the market!” “Subscribe now and win an Apple watch!” “Download our software and we guarantee an increase in your business within 30 days!” That all sounds quite wonderful, actually. Where do I...more

Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents

Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil...more

FTC Clarifies Native and Online Ad Obligations

The FTC, in recent staff statements, has sought to clarify advertisers’ and publishers’ obligations regarding native advertising and social media promotions, particularly regarding when and how to clarify to readers that a...more

Free* to Play Means Only If You Pay

As online gaming companies compete for business, they are offering customers increasingly large incentives to play on their websites, often in the form of deposit bonuses. These deposit bonuses allow players to play with the...more

FTC Announces First Action Involving Crowdfunding

Last week, the FTC announced its first legal action involving crowdfunding. For those of you who don’t know, crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a project by seeking contributions from a large number of people,...more

FTC Workshop on the Sharing Economy: Insights and Promise

Following Commissioner Ohlhausen’s opening presentation, Stanford Professor Liran Einav introduced the first morning panel. It was moderated by Nathan Wilson, Economist for the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. Panelists beyond...more

Smart ad disclosures in the social media age

Recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission highlight the need for companies to review the sufficiency of their advertising disclosures. Companies should take particular care when launching an ad campaign using social...more

Crowdfunding Project Creator Settles FTC Charges of Deception

In the FTC's first case involving crowdfunding, the agency took action against a project creator who was ostensibly raising money from consumers to produce a board game, but instead used most of the funds on himself....more

Federal Court Enjoins Texas Medical Board from Enforcing More Stringent Telemedicine Rules

On April 10, 2015, the Texas Medical Board (the “Board”) voted to adopt stricter regulations governing the practice of telemedicine, which were scheduled to go into effect June 3, 2015 (the “Revised Regulations”). The Board...more

New Insights from FTC on Its Endorsement Guides to Reflect Continued Focus on Disclosures

After the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials (the “Guides”) in 2009, it followed up with a set of frequently asked questions entitled “What People Are Asking” (the “FAQs”) to address...more

FTC Sharing Economy Workshop: Ohlhausen Sets the Stage for Innovation

As we, and countless others, have previously written, peer-to-peer sharing services are transforming the world economy. As Tom Goodwin at Havas Media pointed out in March, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles,...more

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